Pirates notebook: NL Central not so soft after all
By Rob Biertempfel
Published: Friday, May 17, 2013, 6:18 p.m.
How about a little love for the National League Central?
When the Astros shifted to the American League this season, much was made of how they were leaving the supposedly soft NL Central for the big, bad AL West.
Yes, the Rangers (27-14) had the best record in the American League through Thursday, but they also are the only team in the AL West above .500. The other four teams are a combined 66-99.
Meanwhile, the teams with the three best records in the National League reside in the Central: the Cardinals (26-14), Reds (25-16) and Pirates (24-17). So why does the division get overlooked so often?
“The major media markets are on the coasts, so they're going to get more attention,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “But I don't think anybody is overly concerned about what you get from outside sources.”
• The Astros have four ex-Pirates on their roster: left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard, reliever Jose Veras, shortstop Ronny Cedeno and outfielder Robbie Grossman. That might give the Pirates at least a slight advantage in some situations. “We know them very well,” Hurdle said. “But you've got to game plan in order to have success against anybody regardless of how well you know them.”
• Andrew McCutchen made a leaping catch to help Francisco Liriano dodge what could have been a tough inning Thursday against the Brewers. This is the first time the two have been teammates, but they have gone against each other in the past. “I've faced him a couple times,” Liriano said. “I think the first homer he hit was against me. He's a great player, and to be with him and be his teammate is great.” McCutchen hit his first home run June 17, 2009, on a 2-2 pitch from Liriano, who was with the Twins.
• Catcher Brian Jeroloman was traded to the Washington Nationals for cash. The Pirates acquired Jeroloman over the winter from Cleveland. He hit .222 (4 for 18) in 11 games for Triple-A Indianapolis.
• Reliever Jose Contreras was placed on the bereavement list because of a death in his family. Jared Hughes was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. Hughes was demoted to Indy on May 4 to open a roster spot for Contreras. In five outings for Indy, Hughes tossed 62⁄3 scoreless innings.
— Rob Biertempfel
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates reserve outfielder Dickerson is also at home on soccer pitch
- Pirates notebook: Volquez, Morton struggle
- Spring training breakdown: Red Sox 4, Pirates 1; Orioles 9, Pirates 2
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Pirates notebook: Closer Grilli sharp in brief outing
- Stats Corner: McCutchen’s contract extension brings huge cost savings
- Pirates’ Wilk thrown a curve in South Korea
- Pirates notebook: Morton shows off new weapon
- New Pirates pitcher Eppley brings special delivery to team’s staff
- Pirates notebook: Liriano looks to complete consecutive quality seasons
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 5, Tigers 2